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  • Elijah Ricks

Birthday Bash

Updated: Sep 28

We finished up our Sunday last week with a dinner at the Reyes house. They had us all over for some Bratwurst, tortellini, and salad. They were even kind enough to make a pasta mix that was gluten free so that Carver could try it. He even liked it, which was amazing. We adults chatted while the kids enjoyed running around and chasing each other. After dinner, we shared the dessert that Avey had made earlier in the day - double chocolate cookies. She got up extra early on Sunday to make the dough and then let it chill until she got home from church, when she baked them to perfection. Our hosts were rightfully impressed.


After the meal, I took the kids to a nearby park that was within walking distance. Our host showed us the way and brought some frisbees for frisbee golf. We played one hole (is it called a "hole" in frisbee golf?) on the way to the park, and another on the way out. The kids enjoyed it, but may have had more fun rolling the discs down the hill on the way back.


While we were at the park, Kira and Hannah stayed behind to sing songs while the hostess played the piano. The kids and I headed home to get them to bed, and left the women to sing until later.


Monday was school, and it was "crazy hair day" at Avey's school. She came down the stairs with her blue hair in a mohawk, sure to cause a stir.

I did my usual day of work from home, and Kira had a full afternoon and evening of clients. If this pace keeps up, she may need to split them over two days. I suppose it's a good problem to have.


After the boys had their dinner, Hakan began complaining of a sharp pain in his gut. I figured it was probably gas, so he lay down on the couch for a while and I gave him some medicine. He was suddenly better once the neighbor girls came over inviting him to play. Near bedtime, Hannah came over for some TV with Avey and me.

Merritt Traps Apollo

Tuesday I rode to the train station, and then had a normal day of teaching. I tried coming home for my evening course - teaching remotely in my upstairs office. It turned out to be a bit of a train wreck. I had planned to watch a documentary, but of course the sound wouldn't work for the others to hear, and there was a lag due to our internet speed (so I assume). After a few minutes of trying to fix everything, I abandoned it entirely, and we filled the time with an impromptu discussion.


While I was away, Kira supervised the kids' e-learning, then took them to the library, and Carver and Hakan did some crafts. Hannah didn't come over that night as she chose to join institute.


Wednesday was very busy. I did a little bit of work in the morning, and then took over the kids' e-learning so that Kira could drive to Illinois to pick up her mom, who came to visit us. Kira planned to run some errands on the way, and then they ate dinner on the way home, so she was gone for most of the afternoon. I got the kids through their schoolwork, and then did what I could to clean up - vacuuming, cleaning sinks, and tidying up. Avey was a big help, but the boys didn't see the point. I fed the boys their dinner and then realized that it was bath day, so I got them all clean, too. In any case, Kira and her mom got here a little before bedtime, and the boys suddenly realized what it meant to have grandma come. All three of them suddenly needed her attention to show her tricks, tell her all about everything, and give her demonstrations of how everything at our house works. She was very patient and attentive, despite the long day of traveling.


Avey had taken Apollo on a walk right before grandma arrived, so that seemed to help when he met her. He barked and seemed agitated, but he warmed up pretty quickly. He still barks at her almost every time she enters the room, but then he seems to quickly realize that she's familiar, so he calms down right away. Silly boy...


Thursday, I went to the city again for a long day of teaching. Kira got the kids to school and then went on some shopping errands with her mom. It sounds like it was a hectic day, unfortunately, but they were home in time for the boys to get off the bus.


Friday was some preparation for Saturday. I worked during the morning and then Kira, Merritt, and Grandma all went on some more errands. In the afternoon, I ran to the hardware store for a couple of things so that I could finish up some small projects, and then when Avey was home she and I went to pick out a cake for her birthday celebration that was to take place the next day. She was not picky, but did think it would be fun to buy a cake, so we tried it.

We had a great evening, as Grandma made a chuck roast for dinner. I baked some potatoes to go along with it, and she also cooked up some squash and onions. We had Hannah over to help us devour the meal, and she stayed for some TV while Kira holed up in our room to work on a talk for Saturday night.


Saturday was our designated day for Avey's birthday celebration. It's a few days early, but I'll be in the freaking city on her real birthday, so this one made the most sense. Kira was up early to finish working on her talk, and felt ready for it after that. We did breakfast, and then spent the morning getting ready and I squoze in some projects. I painted a lawn chair for Hannah to have on her balcony, and I put down some poison for the stupid voles that have moved into the backyard and are burrowing all over the place. I also mowed the lawn. We did lunch at home and then drove to a mini-golf and go-cart place about 20 minutes away.


A lot of their stuff was closed down due to the stupid pandemic, but we still had a good time. Hakan was very happy to try out a go-cart with Hannah, and the rest of the family first did mini-golf.

It sure was a fun time!

Carver got 4 holes-in-one, and almost everyone else got at least one!

They even had some gators there on vacation from Florida, which were lots of fun to admire.

Avey did the go-carts later in the day while the boys checked out the arcade, and Hannah left a little early to get to an appointment she had with our other brothers.


We wrapped up to swing by the library and get a movie Avey wanted to see, then got cooking as soon as we got home. Avey wanted my homemade cheeseburgers, so I whipped those up and got everybody fed with Kira's help before Hannah, Kira, and Grandma all went to a stake meeting for the night where Kira spoke for about 10 minutes. She said it went well and that she got to say everything she wanted to, so that's good. Avey and I watched the movie and then called it a night shortly after Kira and Grandma made it home.

Today is Stake Conference, so it's been a nice break to not have to scramble all morning to get everybody fed and dressed. The weather's been cool and breezy, so maybe we'll find a park or something later today.


Grandma is here until Wednesday, so this week we'll probably show her more of our town, and maybe she can check out the beach, although the water's surely too cold for comfort now.


Thanks for reading, and be sure to think of Avey on Tuesday, as she'll officially be a teenager (AAAHHHHHHHhhh!!!).

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